Is Your Smartphone The Reason That You Are Tired Or Losing Sleep?

Are you always tired? Do you feel you could be more productive or tend to procrastinate? You might be suffering from technoference and there is one main culprit for this according to a study conducted by an Australian university: your smartphone.

The Study

A national study was conducted by Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety. It surveyed 709 mobile phone users in Australia aged 18 to 83 during 2018 using similar questions from a survey conducted in 2005. They compared the responses to look at the number of people who blamed their phone for losing sleep, being less productive or for taking more risks while driving.

Results

Results showed that 24% of women and 15% of men were classified as problematic mobile phone users (this is Australia, they are known as mobile phones in the rest of the English speaking world!).  Younger people tended to be problematic users with a much higher frequency with 18-24 year old coming in at 40.9% and 23.5% of users 25-29 checking in. Nearly 20% of women and 10% of men lost sleep due to their phones and around 13% of all survey takers noted that their productivity decreased due to spending more time on their phone.

Also included was that 14% of women try to hide how much they use their home as do 8.2% of men. Nearly 55% of women believe their friends will not be able to get in touch with them if they do not have their phone as do about 42% of men. Around 26% of women and 16% of men would rather use their phones than deal with a pressing issue. It should also be noted that around 8% of respondents also cited aches and pains due to phone usage.

The Findings

All of what is above is considered to be technoference and all of these numbers are an increase over 2005 respondents, some more than others. Technoference is causing issues in society, ranging from lost productivity to lost sleep, which can lead to not only more lost productivity but also to a serious situation for a driver if they are fatigued. The phone has also become a coping strategy since so many respondents would rather use their phone than deal with important issues.

There were a few positives though. The increase in mobile phone usage has had a positive effect on Australian’s pocket books since fewer respondents reported being unable to pay their phone bill when compared to old landline bills. So at least there is one net positive!

Is There a Solution?

Smartphones are not likely to go away anytime soon, in fact their usage is only going to increase. In Australia, 88% of adults had a smartphone and there are around 2.5 billion in use globally. As the technology gets better, people have to understand how it can affect them, both positively and negatively, and change their behavioral patterns. We’ve all been in a situation where we are fatigued and some people are able to cope with it better than others. These issues though are not likely to get better at any point soon.

Put Down The Phone!

Your smartphone has become a part of you and you probably feel naked without it but it may be a good idea to put it down or put it away at a certain point of the day. Getting a good night’s sleep is better for everyone, for you and for everyone around you and don’t forget you should not use a smartphone while you are driving.

At first try putting away your smartphone at night. You might sleep better and you won’t waste time sitting in bed scrolling through social media. When you put your phone away while driving you can concentrate on the road, and as a bonus you might be able to think about what is going on at work or in your life. At work by keeping your nose out of your smartphone you will be more productive. Now don’t get us wrong, you may very well need your smartphone for work (and there is nothing wrong with that) but use it appropriately.

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